Managing Director Retail, AMAG, Mathias Gabler

«Electric cars even make sense during the energy crisis»

Mathias Gabler, Managing Director Retail at the AMAG Group, discusses what his company’s roadmap is for electric cars, what he thinks about the current energy crisis and what reservations remain regarding electromobility.

Mathias Gabler, has electromobility reached Switzerland?

Mathias Gabler: We’re making very good progress. The market share of fully electric cars in Switzerland is 17 percent. In 2021, it was under 10 percent. This shows that electromobility has reached Swiss roads. From 2025, around 50 percent of new cars will be ‘plug-in vehicles’.


What positive feedback have you had about your electric cars?

It’s much cheaper to maintain an electric vehicle than a vehicle with a combustion engine, and our customers appreciate that. The new generations of electric cars also have a much larger range, so range anxiety has long been a thing of the past.


What reservations remain?

For a long time, people’s main reservation has been the lack of charging infrastructure available. Although progress has been made in this area, Switzerland still needs clear charging solutions that enable the majority of the Swiss population to charge their vehicles. We at AMAG Retail are currently building our own high-power charging network at 13 of our sites. Furthermore, by 2025, AMAG will have around 500 public charging stations available.


In the medium term, electrosceptics will have no choice but to make the switch. What’s your view on that?

That’s true. Like many other car manufacturers, the Volkswagen Group has announced that, in Europe, it will offer electric vehicles only from 2035. This means that all of us will be driving electric cars sooner or later.


How does the current electricity situation influence electromobility?

Electric cars definitely make sense, even during the energy crisis. Because of Switzerland’s energy mix, electric cars contribute significantly towards lowering CO₂ emissions by reducing the number of fossil fuel energy sources. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy calculated that, up to September 2021, all the electric vehicles in Switzerland made up less than 0.4 percent of the country’s electricity consumption.


I predict that around 80 percent of the cars we sell in 2030 will be electric cars.

Mathias Gabler, Managing Director AMAG Retail



What can the AMAG Group do in this regard?

We’re making progress. By acquiring energy pioneer Helion, the AMAG Group will be able to offer its customers complete electromobility solutions via its trade and service partner network, including our brands’ fascinating products, sustainable energy generation using photovoltaics and smart charging solutions for efficient energy management at home. The electrification of mobility and the emergence of large storage capacities using car batteries are creating new business models that the AMAG Group wants to develop with Helion and other partners.


Let’s take stock: what percentage of cars sold at AMAG Retail– so in the retail trade – are electric at the moment?

Here, we’re in the same range as the overall Swiss market. One in four of our new cars sold has an alternative drive (BEV, PHEV).


All of the AMAG brands already have a very wide range of cars available. Which one is your biggest seller?

Thankfully, there are a few. Alongside the Škoda Enyaq, the VW ID.4, Audi Q4 e-tron and CUPRA Born are very popular.


How many new models will be launched by the AMAG brands in 2023?

Of course, the ID. Buzz and the Škoda Enyaq Coupé RS iV are two big highlights. Both are being launched in 2022. In 2023, we can look forward to welcoming the VW ID. Aero and the Audi Q6 e-tron, among other vehicles. Both are likely to become absolute top models and we’re expecting a lot from them.


What does AMAG Retail’s medium- and long-term electric roadmap look like?

I predict that around 80 percent of the cars we sell in 2030 will be electric cars and we’ll be able to provide our customers with excellent advice and a comprehensive service both in person and online, from charging stations in the home – including photovoltaic systems – to free chargers in our dealerships, charging cards, corporate consultancy and all services relating to e-mobility. In addition, we as a company will have been carbon neutral for five years by then.


Alongside electromobility, other topics are emerging from the technological revolution, such as autonomous driving, digitalisation and subscription models. What is AMAG Retail’s specific approach to these challenges?

These developments are challenging for the whole industry. But we think we’re in the best position for these changes. We’ve already made a lot of progress in terms of our subscription model and digitalisation. Nonetheless, we have to develop as a company, as do our employees. We need to adapt some job profiles, for example in Sales and Customer Service. Customer focus and employee skills are our biggest challenges now and will continue to be in the future.


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